Stephen Price: From young rugby lover to captaining South Wales FA in the UEFA Regions Cup
South Wales FA goalkeeper Stephen Price reflects on being given the captain’s armband again at the UEFA Regions Cup as he looks ahead to the tournament.
Price has a real positive energy about himself as he sits down in the chair where the team are staying. He has real character about him, but he admits football wasn’t his first love. “I started out playing rugby first because I enjoyed it,” admits Price.
“I didn’t really get into football until I was 16/17. I started out in the Spar Mid-Wales League and it was a good standard. I then swapped down and come to the South side of the pyramid and have seemed to have done okay in that sense as well.”
He is a great captain; you can see that from the way he conducts himself. He is a well-mannered professional and is clearly a likeable character around the squad but he is keen that the South Wales FA side learn from the mistakes they made in the last tournament, despite being the first team in Wales to record a win in the Regions Cup.
“In San Marino, We conceded in the third minute we went 1-0 down, and then we went onto lose the game 4-0. But it certainly didn’t spoil the experience as we went onto win the next game.”
“This time, 50 per cent of the boys know exactly what to expect and knowing there is going to be people there to support you, not the opposing side will help us massively. I think there is going to be an advantage for all the boys and we are all very much looking forward to it.”
Price realises the challenge which faces the Wales side this time around from experiences two-years ago abroad and believes that the physical aspect of the game could help the side profit on home turf, as they start their campaign against FK Kozara today at Jenner Park.
“The biggest surprise for me in going over to San Marino was how different the football was and having UEFA referees. Our referees over here are used to a physical type of game, but when we were over in San Marino it was different and the physical aspect goes completely out of the window.”
“I think we are hoping that the physical edge over here will help us more and the crowd won’t be on our backs and the home support over here could most certainly help us as a group.”
The Brecon goalkeeper was also full of praise for manager Stephen Green who has put trust in Price’s ability as they aim to start with a win over the Swedes in their first game of the tournament this evening.
“Steve has been a massive impact for me, and he has given me a magnificent opportunity. He has backed me all the way through and I am absolutely delighted about that.”
And the experienced head of Price admits that he will be elated when he leads his side out wearing the captain’s armband on his sleeve in a bid to get off to the best possible start in the Regions Cup ahead of what will be a stern test against Kozara.
“Going out with the captain’s armband tonight in Barry will be incredible. I am absolutely buzzing – it would be nice if it was a higher level, but it is an absolute honour to be involved within this squad.”
“We play for a reason and it is fantastic to have this opportunity to play for your national side, even at this level.”
(Featured Image: Beverley Hemmings)